Boston Red Sox: Erik Bedard To Debut Thursday, Club To Use 6-Man Rotation

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IAugust 1, 2011

SEATTLE - JULY 29:  Starting pitcher Erik Bedard #45 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field on July 29, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Newly-acquired left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard will make his Red Sox debut Thursday night in the series finale against Cleveland. Andrew Miller will go to the bullpen for the day, but he will remain in the rotation as Terry Francona plans to use a six-man rotation for 10 days.

"We don’t have a day off until we leave to go to Seattle (on August 11), so up to that point, we’ll kind of stick with six starters," Francona said Sunday night, according to The Boston Herald. "Andrew will be in the bullpen Thursday.

"Bedard threw 57 pitches, I think, in an inning and two-thirds. He hadn’t pitched in a month. The way we interpreted it from the Seattle guys is if he’d have pitched for them on Wednesday, they were going to hold him to about 75 or 80 (pitches), so we probably need to stick close to that also.

"We’ll have (Miller) out there, just to keep an eye on our bullpen. If he doesn’t pitch in that game, he’ll take his normal turn Monday in Minnesota. If he does, he’ll pitch Tuesday in Minnesota and Wake will just stay—we can flip-flop those two.”

Bedard was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained knee back on June 27 and was activated over the weekend to face Tampa Bay. He surrendered five runs in his 1.1-inning outing, throwing 57 pitches in the Mariners' loss to the Rays, but his problems seemed to stem from rustiness and location in that outing—nothing more. He threw his fastball in the low-90s, topping out at 94 mph, and had some excellent bite on his curveball.

Jon Lester, who was originally scheduled to start Thursday's game, will pitch the opener against the Yankees on Friday.